FORT ATKINSON -- A Fort Atkinson man is going above and beyond, trying to get to all 162 of the Milwaukee Brewers games during the 2012 season. He's also trying to spread an important message in the process.
With the crack of the bat, the call of the vendors and the din of the crowd, baseball is how 25-year-old Ben Rouse prefers to spend his time. "I've been to, like, 278 games. 50 away from Miller Park. Been to, like, 15 stadiums to see them play," Rouse said.
This summer, Rouse hopes to see even more stadiums on his quest to attend all 162 Brewers games. "It's something I've been thinking about for six to seven years," Rouse said.
Logistically, it's a challenge. Rouse is booking airfare for most of the trips, which means some red-eye and early morning flights to make it in time for the first pitch. Rouse estimates 20,000 miles spent in the air, and 20,000 on the roads with the Milwaukee Brewers behind him all the way. "(The Brewers) decided to support me, and we're also going to be raising awareness for the 'Be The Match' registry," Rouse said.
It's a cause close to his heart. Rouse was diagnosed with leukemia in 2007. After a brief remission, the disease relapsed and with none of Rouse's siblings as donor matches, he was forced to look elsewhere. "That's the case for a lot of people. 70 percent of people need to look outside their family," Rouse said.
That's where the "Be The Match" registry comes in. Rouse says it's pretty easy to get involved. "If you go to BeTheMatch.org, there's a link on how to join. You can type in your zip code and find a drive nearby," Rouse said.
Rouse says he feels great now - healthy enough to travel around the country, chasing the crack of the bat and following his favorite team. While he thinks there will be a lot of Brewers wins in his future, Rouse knows his mission will certainly be a win for cancer patients like himself. "I feel blessed to have the opportunity to help other people while doing something I love," Rouse said.
CLICK HERE to follow Rouse's blog.
CLICK HERE to "Follow" Rouse on Twitter.
CLICK HERE for more information on the "Be The Match" registry.